Ingham County Voters To Consider New Jail Proposal In August
Voters in Ingham County will be deciding on a ballot proposal to replace the 54-year-old county jail when they go to the polls in August. WKAR’s Katie Cook reports.
Ingham County is asking voters to consider a millage that would replace the current county jail, the Sheriff’s administrative offices and court facilities located in Mason.
The millage would cost a taxpayer who owns a home with a value of $100,000 an increase of $42.50 annually.
Darin Southworth Correctional Administrator says this is a need and not just a want.
“We’re putting on a lot of bandaids, we’re bleeding a lot of taxpayer money for maintenance-based requests, things that go bad, things that break, infrastructure related things that are especially complicated in an old facility. So if we keep kicking the can, it’s just going to be more expensive down the road.”
The county is also requesting additional programming funds that would expand services to treat substance addictions and mental illness at the jail, and also to reduce reincarceration.
Southworth says roughly half of those held at the jail at any given time are awaiting trial, and about half have been sentenced to one year or less for misdemeanor or felony crimes.
According to East Lansing Info, the millage has received broad support in the county, though neither Lansing Mayor Andy Schor or East Lansing Mayor Mark Meadows are taking a position on it. There does not appear to be any organized opposition to the proposal.
If the millage passes, construction of the new facility would likely begin in 2020 and could be completed by the end of 2021. The jail would remain open during construction.